IG Pon Manickavel is the inspiration for Prabhu Deva's character in his first cop film, says director AC Mugil
Pon Manickavel has a racy dance sequence but as this one is a cop action entertainer, Prabhu Deva will not be seen dancing throughout”, says director AC Mugil.
India’s leading choreographer Prabhu Deva made his debut as an actor in Pavithran’s 1994 Tamil romantic entertainer Indhu and played a variety of roles in more than 50 films. In the last twenty-four years, Prabhu Deva also teamed up with leading directors including Shankar, Rajiv Menon, Santhosh Sivan, and Karthik Subbaraj but none of them imagined him as a cop. For the first time in his acting career, Prabhu Deva dons Khaki in his upcoming film Pon Manickavel.
AC Mugil, a long time associate of Prabhu Deva is directing Pon Manickavel. “My relationship with Prabhu Deva goes long back and I worked on almost all of his hit directorial films including Pokkiri and Wanted. Despite debuting as a director myself with Kanden, I continued working with Prabhu Deva sir”, begins the soft-spoken filmmaker.
“When I started narrating the script of Pon Manickavel, Prabhu Deva wasn’t that excited because he himself directed blockbuster cop entertainers like Vijay’s Pokkiri, Salman Khan’s Wanted and Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore but within a few minutes, he was hooked by the idea and came on board for Pon Manickavel”, says Mugil.
Pon Manickavel is the Inspector General Police of the idol wing in Tamil Nadu. He investigated many stolen ancient idols cases and is a big inspiration to many young cops in the state. It is worth mentioning here that Karthi’s last year hit film Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru was also based on the true events of Operation Bawaria, the process of arresting nefarious activity of dacoits in Tamil Nadu.
“Yes, Pon Manickavel sir is the inspiration for Prabhu Deva’s character in the film but if you ask me whether I’m using real idol investigation cases in the film, you have to wait until the release to know more”, says the director to Firstpost.
“I have met Pon Manickavel sir in person and I’m a big fan of his honesty. Prabhu Deva plays an upright police officer in the film which also has a few scenes from the real life incidents but can’t reveal more details as we have just started the shoot”, adds Mugil.
Generally, dance sequences are the major highlights in any Prabhu Deva film. “Pon Manickavel also has one such racy dance sequence but as this one is a cop action entertainer, he will not be seen dancing throughout”, smiles Mugil who is predominantly shooting Pon Manickavel in Chennai and only for one schedule, the team will also camp in Mumbai to shoot an important sequence.
Apart from being honest, IG Pon Manickavel is also known for efficiently organising the right team and pick officers who would flawlessly accomplish the task. Mugil has used the popular Thirukkural ‘Ithanai ithanaal ivanmutikkum endraaindhu adhanai avan-kaN vidal (Tamil)’ in the first look poster and it means 'One should define the task and identify the individual who is capable of completing it. Once that process is done, there should not be any interference,' which is one of the greatest qualities of IG Pon Manickavel.
In his career, Prabhu Deva sported beardless look only in two films — Sundar C’s Naam Iruvar Nammakku Iruvar and a few scenes Thangar Bachan’s Kalavadiya Pozhuthugal. “You are right, Prabhu sir has been only seen with the beard in most of his films. As he plays a cop in Pon Manickavel, Prabhu Deva sir started preparing himself for the role even before ten months”, says Mugil who narrated the script last year.
Produced by Hitesh Jhabak, Nivetha Pethuraj and music composer Imman who had previously associated with the producer’s super hit science fiction film Tik Tik Tik have been retained in Pon Manickavel. “Nivetha Pethuraj’s character will not be the usual commercial heroine in Pon Manickavel, she plays an independent woman who wants to pursue education and develop a career for herself. Prabhu Deva plays a person who supports Nivetha to achieve her dream”, explains the director on the characterization of his female lead.
Mugil says that his films should do the talking and he doesn’t prefer to brag much about the content. “There are many genius filmmakers here in Tamil so bragging about my content will not look good. In every actor’s career, cop films are very important because it would lift their career to a different level. As a team, we all working together to deliver such an important film to Prabhu Deva sir”, signs off Mugil.
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